Thursday, August 21, 2014

poem of the day 08.21.14

the incredible loneliness of west virginia

at times it was true
i felt alone in that housing plan in west virginia

fresh from a concrete yard full of kids
in the great city of pittsburgh

it didn’t bother me as much
as maybe it did my parents

there were no kids my age on the street

most of the people in the plan
had been there for several years

they were coal mining democrats
with plastic on their furniture
and reagan/bush 1980 bumper stickers
still fresh on the back of their cars

i was alone but rarely ever lonely

there was one kid, ronnie
he was twelve to my seven
but i hung around him anyway
because the two of us
were out of options during the summer

ronnie liked bb guns and atari
i liked his baseball card collection

when the boredom was too much
we’d sit in ronnie’s living room

he played video games
while i looked through his card collection

when i found a pittsburgh pirate card
i’d drop it from the pile and hide it under my thigh
then get them into my pocket
when ronnie got up for pepsi or to piss

in my bedroom i had pirate cards galore

i’d use the cards to draw the players
and then hang them all over my walls
until my west virginia bedroom
was a sea of black and gold

they reminded me of everything
that i was missing back home

when the fall came
ronnie had school friends again
but i still hadn’t made any

i went by his house to look at baseball cards
but ronnie and his friends were sometimes on the lawn

holding their bb guns up
looking for low flying birds or rabid bats

or they were playing football on the street

ronnie said that he didn’t have time
he said he’d run out of pirates cards

and then all of the other boys would laugh

they’d go back to throwing the pigskin around
or searching the sky for an animals to pelt

while i walked back home
against the fading sunlight

of the wild and wonderful landscape.


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